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Syrian extremist group in Idlib breaks with jihadist ideologue

When Hayat Tahrir al-Sham was first established, it taught its members the approach of prominent jihadist ideologue Abu Mohammad al-Maqdisi, but it has now severed ties with him and recanted his ideology.
A fighter from the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group is sprayed with decontamination liquid upon his release in a reported prisoner swap deal with regime forces in the town of Darret Ezza, about 30 kilometres northwest of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on May 16, 2020. (Photo by AAREF WATAD / AFP) (Photo by AAREF WATAD/AFP via Getty Images)

IDLIB, Syria — Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States, announced through its Sharia Council the disavowal of prominent jihadist ideologue Issam al-Barqawi, aka Abu Mohammad al-Maqdisi.

In a statement released Oct. 10, the HTS-affiliated Sharia Council said, “He [Maqdisi] is not one of us, and we do not follow his ways. We distinguish between his heretical notion of 'tawheed' [the oneness of God] and the notion we were taught by our predecessors and successors [scholars]. We disavow Barqawi’s ideology and behavior.”

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